September 2019

Over half a century behind bars for the men who sexually abused a young girl

A victim who was subjected to six years of sexual abuse by a gang of four men has today thanked police – as her abusers were today jailed for a total of 53 years.

The vulnerable woman had been abused by the men when she was a child after a man offered her to them in return for cigarettes and alcohol.

She was abused on a number of occasions over a period of six years but it wasn’t until she was an adult that she bravely contacted police.

The abusers were charged with a host of sexual offences and in May they were found guilty of a total of 37 counts of sexual assaults, including multiple rapes.

Lead investigator Detective Jaclyn Younger was in court on behalf of the victim today (Monday) to hear Judge…. put the four men behind bars for 53 years.

Colin Ankers, 45, of Waterville Road, North Shields was found guilty of 14 counts of rape and four counts of indecent assault and was sentenced to 21 years

Philip Taylor, 60, of Whiteley Avenue, Sowerby, West Yorkshire was found guilty of three counts of rape and four counts of indecent assault and was sentenced to 17 years.

Darren Smith, 36, of Irene Avenue, Stoke-on-Trent was found guilty of five counts of rape and five counts of indecent assault and was sentenced to six years.

Paul Cavner, 55, of Crofton Street, Blyth was found guilty of one count of rape and one count of indecent assault. He was found not guilty of one other count of indecent assault. He was sentenced to nine years.

In a statement read out in court, the victim said she “didn’t know any different” during the abuse but she has called on other victims to report abuse to police.

She said: “The trial has been very difficult for me but it’s the closure that I need to be able to move on with my life. I have had to do this for me and I am proud of myself.

“My childhood was taken at the age of nine when Colin Ankers began to groom me and stole my childhood. Out of all of the men who abused me, Colin Ankers was the worst.

“He had a hold over me, very controlling and has destroyed me the most. The abuse has affected my adult relationships with men. I have never been happy and settled, I have been used as a sex toy, a punch bag, a victim of abuse.

“I didn’t know any different, I didn’t know what was and what wasn’t acceptable. I had no confidence, no self-esteem and beatings were normal. I have done this for me and only me so I can move on.”

June 2019

Four men found guilty of ‘heinous and wicked’ sexual abuse of young girl

A woman who was sexually abused as a child after someone she knew offered her to other men in return for money and cigarettes has finally seen justice.

The victim had her childhood blighted by being brutally raped and sexually assaulted over six years.

Now she has finally seen justice after four men have been found guilty of multiple historic rapes and indecent assaults.

On Friday a jury at Newcastle Crown Court found the men guilty of a total of 37 counts which occurred over a period of six years.

The abuse committed by:

  • Colin Ankers, 45, of Waterville Road, North Shields ;

  • Philip Taylor, 60, of Whiteley Avenue, Sowerby, West Yorkshire;

  • Darren Smith, 36, of Irene Avenue, Stoke-on-Trent;

  •  Paul Cavner, 55, of Crofton Street, Blyth 

The four men had denied the charges against them but was described as ‘heinous and wicked’ by the judge.

Northumbria Police say a man who was known to the victim at the time would offer her to the other men for sexual purposes in return for money, cigarettes and alcohol.

  • Ankers was found guilty of 14 counts of rape and four counts of indecent assault.

  • Taylor was found guilty of three counts of rape and four counts of indecent assault.

  • Smith was found guilty of five counts of rape and five counts of indecent assault.

  • Cavner was found guilty of one count of rape and one count of indecent assault. 

Judge Tim Gittins said: “You have been convicted of heinous and wicked crimes against the victim. You will be produced at court on July 18 where you will receive substantial prison sentences but in the meantime will be remanded in custody.”